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No surprises: 5 tips to maintain health

Regular exercise and a healthy diet are two

Regular exercise and a healthy diet are two key ways to lower the risk of diseases associated with aging. Credit: Fotolia

There is no magic bullet to avoid diseases associated with aging, but mundane behaviors may help lower the risk.

In a British study that followed 2,235 men over a 35-year period, researchers identified five lifestyle choices that kept people healthy longer. The list should not surprise you:

1. Exercise regularly

2. Do not smoke

3. Maintain a healthy body weight

4. Eat a healthy diet

5. Keep your alcohol intake low

The study found that men who followed at least four of these lifestyle practices had a 70 percent lower risk of diabetes, heart disease and stroke and a 60 percent lower risk of dementia compared with men who followed none of the behaviors. Regular exercise offered the most protection against dementia.

The study, which researchers said was the longest of its kind to examine environmental factors in chronic disease, was published in the scientific journal PLOS ONE.

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